April 26th, 2004
|09:31 am - Lighting the Fires|
The only consistent feature in all your dissatisfying relationships is you
While not a terribly positive message, this has been one of the mantras I've adopted in the last week. I've been reassessing who I am and what I do and what do I do that makes me buzz. Also not a terribly positive message, despite what other kind things people may say. I guess I pull off competency in many of the things I try to do, and I suppose I could be employed in several fields that would be profitable for both myself and my employer. As an ambitious perfectionist -- my core, that I deny vehemently -- I run the same risks of my present situation; what dissatisfies me is that I am not Rising to the challenges. I've got a great job, but I am doing only so much as is required to maintain it. That is what hurts, and being aware of the situation does not improve it.
The largest harrassment of looking toward the future is the raw potential of my present place in life. I am 24, single, debt-free with a positive net worth, a fancy education, and a supporting family. My only anchor is an accomidating dog. What better time than now to do anything I might wish to have done in the future. Such as living abroad. Taking on a big risk.
It has been my thinking that taking a big risk is the way to jar myself into rational action. The working proposal had been that reticello and I were going to drive to Patagonia. Why? Because it is there. Because somewhere along the 24000 mile route, through dangers and beauty, risks and rewards, we'd figure out what really makes us tick.
But maybe I already know. I know I'm an entrepreneur. Calculated risk, making something from nothing, building and motivating a small team, and being responsible for a dozen hats -- whenever I get close to that, I buzz. The audacity of the challenge, the advantage of applying oneself toward the perfection needed but time-limited. This was clear to me as an undergraduate. This remains clear from the ease with which I have acquired additional working knowledge -- I really like accounting, I do intuitively understand organizations. And from the collection of friends I've maintained, ideal candidates who would likely rally to a good opportunity.
Talk is cheap. The consistent feature in all of my previous attempts is me. The ideas have led to great enthusiastic discussion, but no farther. In hindsight, most of the ideas we had were hubris. The ideas were sound -- variants of them are now in the market -- but the experience and capital required to act was completely underestimated.
When you run -- when I run -- or lift weights, you set a goal. You say, "self, I'm going to run 3 miles today". The objective is to set a goal that is beyond what you can easily do, but perhaps still within one's physical limitations. And so you lace up, jog a bit, and then launch. And you run, and it doesn't seem so bad. But then comes the hesitation -- did I drink enough water? Do I have something more important to do with my time? Am I up for this? And you continue, but now there is hesitation, and you start to question the goal. How important is it do all three miles... no one will know the difference. And if that hesitation comes to a pause -- I know, I'll run a mile, then walk the next bit, and then run another mile -- it is over. The mental plateau is there, and it will be many days longer before you lift that goal weight, hit that distance or time. You'll probably have to trick yourself into doing it without knowing. Knowing that I've had good ideas and not acted on them has frozen me. I don't get good ideas anymore. Any time an idea appears, that suggests "hey, you could do..." it gets squashed. Squelched.
bucy and I had a really good idea last year. It is the kind of idea that just makes so much sense you wonder why it isn't out there. The kind of thing that I, who am not a salesman, can sell. I could sell it, without reservation, to an investor, to my grandfather, to a stranger. The kind of technology that is merely the intersection of a set of points of the state of the art -- no research necessary, very little new code required. And the kind of thing that bucy is uniquely experienced to put together. We worked on it, conceptually, for a couple of weeks. And then it faded away -- not from technical limitations, just... inertia?
It has occured to me that I regret this. Strongly. The consistent feature is me -- I know bucy isn't the same as me, I know how he works. And I know how to keep him motivated, I think. I claim I could be a project manager, and I've got a project to manage... and I don't. Did not. Am. I have reintroduced the concept, and I've relit the fire under him. We've streamlined the proposal, and... damn. I still believe it is a really good idea, and I have started constructing the business plan to prove it. It is my goal to have a draft this week that I can show a potentially interested party and convince them, without resorting to rhetoric or charisma. I would be happy to show it to you, to guard off ego and hubris.
Work may have gotten more interesting as of late. As well, the weather has improved, and that will give me another six months of being content with my place in the universe. The desperation to leave is quieted. In three months, my lease expires. In three months, it is my hope and expectation that the prototype will be done. That we'll have a better grasp on whether there is something here or failure. So that I can go about my next transition knowing the outcome... or stay for it. I presently have the perfect job for starting a company with, and so I shall.
Sounds wonderful - good luck.